Junior Neha Jarabandi gives her first TEDxYouth talk


provided by Neha Jarabandi

Junior Neha Jarabandi presents at her first-ever Tedxyouth talk at Centennial High School on Jan. 9. She focused on CRISPR CAS-9 and Sherlock genetic engineering during COVID-19 for the TedTalk speech.

Athena Tseng, Staff Reporter

A passion and drive for science led junior Neha Jarabandi to give her first-ever TEDxYouth talk at Centennial High School on Jan. 9. Focusing on CRISPR CAS-9 and Sherlock genetic engineering during COVID-19, it was a chance Jarabandi couldn’t pass up.

“I was always interested in doing a TED Talk and sharing my ideas because I really do have a passion for science,” Janabandi said. “So just having this opportunity in front of me, I wanted to take it and try to share some of my opinions on something I think is totally awesome.”

Jarabandi put a lot of time and effort into prepping this speech and many steps went into it. 

“First, I had to brainstorm my topic and after that, I did a bunch of research online, got some sources, and then I wrote my speech,” Jarabandi said. “The writing process took a while. I often peer-reviewed and asked other speakers how they were doing and getting some good feedback.”

During this process, Jarabandi chose her topic of genetic engineering immediately. 

“The easiest part was definitely having the idea. I was just really excited about it and everything that came with it,” Janabandi said. “I chose genetic engineering as my topic because I thought it was most relevant to what was going on right now especially with the Covid-19 pandemic. I thought trying to relate it with something I really enjoy learning about was beneficial and important for people to know”

After her speech, other students shared feedback with Janabandi. 

“Neha’s speech was really interesting and eye-catching because she wasn’t monotone and she was really capturing her audience through her words and body language,” Centennial High School junior Sahana Sivakumaran said. “It was evident that she spent a lot of time and effort making her speech perfect, as it was well put together to engage her audience”

Many of her friends watched her speech to support her and learn about her perspective on the topic.

“It was really impressive to watch her speech. It got me thinking about genetic engineering and wanting to learn more,” junior Kelly Liu said. “Although it seems like it would be hard to understand because of the proper wording and concepts, she pulled it off and made it easy to understand.”

This speech made a difference in Jarabandi’s life and taught her many lessons.

“I earned a lot of skills through this experience. It has been great to get this opportunity to share my idea,” Janabandi said. “Just explaining something in a way that people can get something out of it is super rewarding.”